As a solo artist, Roger released his 1st LP in 1976 under the band name ‘Roger and the Human Body’ on his own Troutman Records label. His 1st singles having been released under the name of ‘Little Roger and the Veils’. Zapp hit the Top 20 pop charts in 1980 with their single ‘More Bounce to the Ounce’.
In 1981 Roger worked on Funkadelic’s ‘The Electric Spanking of War Babies’ and released his solo debut album ‘The Many Facets of Roger’. Roger’s cover of ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ with the distinctive sounds of the vocoder talk box earned the album gold status. Roger’s 2nd solo album was released in 1983 ‘The Saga Continues’ then came his 3rd album ‘Unlimited’. In the mid-80’s Troutman opened a state of the art recording studio in Dayton called ‘Troutman Sound Labs’. Roger continued to produce and play with other artists and it was his voice box which graced Dr. Dre & 2pac’s top ten 1996 single ‘California Love’.
Zapp & Rogers’s hits were sampled by an array of Rap and Hip-Hop artists in the 90’s, including Janet Jackson, H-Town, Ice Cube, Ralph Tresvant and Snoop Dogg. As the hits waned for both Troutman and the Zapp & Roger group, the brothers opened a housing business headed by their brother Larry. Unfortunately in the 90’s, they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Roger’s life ended tragically on 25th April 1999 aged 47 at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, after being shot several times by his brother Larry. Larry later committed suicide by turning the gun on himself. In the year 2000, Thump Records released a tribute to Roger Troutman, which featured Hip-Hop and R&B songs that sampled his work. Although he died in 1999, you can still hear his effects in music today and will do; I’m sure, for many years to come.